Lawyers on Wednesday argued at length in the High Court in Lilongwe on the authenticity of medical documents on the health status of former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara who is currently under trial for conspiracy to commit murder.
Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) doctor David Saunders had indicated that Kasambara needs to be given eight to 10 days to recover, but defence lawyers wondered how that could be possible given that Saunders is a specialist in infectious diseases and not cardiologist.
In his argument, lawyer representing Kasambara, Emmanuel Theu, said the only doctor who can recommend the time frame was the family doctor, Lughano Kalongolera or a cardiologist, who was only identified as Dr Priester.
He further told the court that he would apply to the court to cross-examine Saunders.
Said Theu: “My point which the court is not getting is that Saunders is not a cardiologist, he was only writing Kasambara’s medical report because he [Kasambara] developed pneumonia which was clinically induced since he had been in the ICU [Intensive Care Unit] two times. He was the one treating Kasambara, but for his heart problem, we needed Priester to make proper assessments and he was not available at that time.”
Kalongolera’s report hinted that Kasambara needed 21 days bed rest before he can be assessed.
But Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale, who kept nodding her head as Theu was making his presentation, wondered why the defence wants to question a doctor who was taking care of their client [Kasambara].
Presiding High Court judge Michael Mtambo wondered why the State is failing to produce an independent doctor to assess Kasambara.
Mtambo then ruled that court will decide on Kasambara’s status on October 26 and also on the application by the State to have former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe’s bail revoked.
Kasambara was found with a case to answer in the conspiracy to commit murder while Kumwembe was charged with attempted murder in the case about the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 house in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
Kumwembe was recently thrown back in jail for contempt of court.